Why use Instagram for your business if it was created for people to socialize and share their photos?
That may have been its originally intended purpose, however, did you know that many businesses are now using it as a sales funnel? Many businesses are using it to help reach their sales goals.
Currently, there are 1 billion monthly active users on Instagram and that number is still growing. That’s 1 billion customers for your business to potentially target! So how can you utilize this platform and a huge audience to get your business to the next level?
Read on to learn how you can do this like a professional!
Why Use Instagram?
You can easily name five different social media platforms out now so why use Instagram? Instagram is considered to be the best social media platform for engagement or your ability as a brand to connect with your followers. It is also the best brand to engage with the upcoming generation.
In addition to showing your followers compelling photos, you can create a social media profile that highlights your brand’s mission and goals, show your products and capture leads and sales. Having a solid business profile will set you up for success!
Instagram's claim to fame and the reason why it is so successful today is because of photos. Instagram obviously emphasizes photos more than any other social media platform, arguably as much as Pinterest.
With Facebook, there are posts, comments, articles and irrelevant information that might allow followers to skip over a simple photo. But with Instagram, the main event is your photo and the message it will convey, make sure it goes above and beyond.
What this means is that it needs to be a high-quality photo that makes your followers think. An image that someone that is causally browsing the app or scrolling will be intrigued. Your photos need to stop them in their tracks long enough to engage with your post, read your caption or click through to your website if you are running a social media advertising campaign.
Write a Great Caption
Photos may be able to tell the whole story but captions can be the addition your image needs for your audience. Once you have captured your user’s attention with your photo you need to have an interesting caption. Ask your followers a question or provoke engagement in another way. If you just post a photo, people may not understand how you want them to engage with your brand or what action you want them to take.
Start with a hook to capture your follower’s attention and end with a call to action. This can be as simple as getting them to answer a question in the form of a comment or a like. Make your business page a community people can engage in.
Advertising on Instagram
Instagram is arguably the most profitable platform to advertise on due to the high engagement rates. If you are not utilizing Instagram advertising (or Facebook) to advertise on social media, you need to start doing it now.
Sure you can post great content on your page, however, this will only reach your followers and maybe a few wondering eyes using hashtags. This can be a huge frustration to people that do not know how social media works.
If you want to reach people that do not follow you and strengthen your social media presence, you need to create a social media marketing campaign. You can target specific demographics, interests, internet behaviors, locations, and even your email list! Not sure how to do it? Learning how to hire an Instagram or social media manager could help tremendously and save you time and a lot of money!
These sponsored ads will appear in users' feeds outside of your follower base. You can run regular targeted ads and even run retargeting campaigns to capture previously interested customers.
Just make sure you comply with all of Instagram's advertising policies or you will end up having your ad account flagged or even worse banned.
Re-targeting Instagram ads are beneficial because they help capture customers who may have been shopping on your site and abandoned their cart. Put that product they abandoned tight in front of them again and watch the sales come in.
Using Influencers For Business
Have you heard of businesses using Influencers on social media to promote their products? For starters, once you build a relationship with influencers you can reach their followers as well as your own. Knowing this you can see how powerful and influential it can really be for your brand.
Build relationships with influencers that have a strong following and are well respected. Many influencers on Instagram have a variety of price tags to promote your product(s) ask around for the best quote.
This will make your brand relatable and reliable just by association. It is also beneficial to let them try out your products so they can share their "paid" thoughts with their audience. If they have a loyal following and review your product they become an ambassador for your brand!
Instagram Stories and Highlights
Instagram Stories are basically a feature of Instagram that allows its users to share everyday moments quickly and easily with their followers. Similar to Snapchat, these moments could be through photos or short videos. Then each one of these photos and videos will be compiled as a slideshow on Instagram. This will stay on your IG account for 24 hours before it disappears.
Instagram stories are the perfect way for your business to show your work behind the scenes. Give people a sneak peek at new products or take some risks. People love to see the inner workings of a business. This is a perfect way to connect with your audience that has never been done in previous generations, make sure to utilize IG stories.
If you own a restaurant, for example, you can show how your food is made fresh every day. Test your story posts and see how your audience reacts to them! Maybe you don’t know how a behind the scenes tour of your business will be received. There are even features that allow you to conduct a poll or vote on a certain subject. Use this to receive the thoughts of your audience and relevant information.
Have a favorite Instagram story? Save it and turn it into a highlight that never leaves your profile. Highlights can be used to show customers processes, answer frequently asked questions and more!
These IG stories will not disappear and can be placed right below your bio on your business page. If you have second thoughts of the highlight, it can be easily removed or replaced.
Writing The Perfect Instagram Bio
An Instagram bio has to make an impact on your audience. It has to tell people what your business is, what you do, and why they need you. It also has to convince people to not only follow you but to also complete a particular task of your choosing (like visiting your website).
Make sure that your Instagram bio includes as much information as possible about your brand within 150 characters.
And as you are only allowed 150 characters for your bio (plus the 30 characters for your Instagram Name) this is not an easy task! Here are the most important characteristics your bio should describe
Specific niche or service – If you are in a specific profession or industry niche, or are known for offering a particular service, then it is important to make this clear in your Instagram bio to help you immediately connect with the right audience.
Skills and Experience – Sharing your skills and experience will help present a professional business, building trust with your target audience and giving them an insight into what you offer.
Hobbies and interests – If your brand is based on you as an individual, then building a relationship with your followers is key. Share a bit about who you are such as your hobbies, interests, and vision.
Use your brand’s voice – Using your brand’s voice is a must, as this will ensure consistency across your social networks and enable your audience to immediately recognize you. If you want to connect with your audience quickly, use a voice that relates to your audience.
Utilize hashtags – Fortunately Instagram allows you to put hashtags in your bio. This allows brands to be associated with the hashtag placed on their bio. Make sure you pick the right ones that relate the most to your business and the hashtags customers are looking at.
Using IG TV For Your Instagram Business
Have you been noticing more and more IG TV posts on your newsfeed? This is because Instagram and Facebook are heavily emphasizing the significance of IG TV. This can be a perfect opportunity for your social media business account.
This feature allows you to upload longer videos through channels that are all in a vertical format. It is much easier for users to discover your business channel and allows users to curate their content. Followers can share, comment and like just like a regular post.
For businesses, this means a chance to get closer to your audience and not be limited by time or format. It even appears at the top of your profile next to the story highlights to allow for easy access.
Why Use Instagram: Content Strategy
When you use Instagram for your business you will need to create a content strategy. A content calendar can help keep you organized and help you layout your content so that it benefits your business as well as your customers. Before you get started you will need to determine how many times per week you want to post.
Luckily, we will tell you our full-proof strategy that we use for clients for posting. The first tip is having a third of your posts be about your brand, a third sharing content from influencers or your users, and a third actually selling your product or service. Do not use your Instagram account just to sell, we can assure you that your engagement will be zero to nothing.
Your branded posts are here to boost your brand awareness and visibility. Your followers need to get to know you as a brand. What’s important to your business? What are your values and goals? And what is your brand’s personality? Make posts that answer these questions, whether it conveys in your images or captions.
Another great tip is to encourage the practice of sharing posts. Followers love when you repost their images. It makes them feel validated and appreciated by your brand. Incline your audience to post your products and even give them a reward for doing so!
Sell posts are obviously when you are selling your product or service. These posts should not be pushy and should reflect your brand’s personality. You should be using lifestyle photos of your products as well. This type of photo engages people and shows them what their lives could be like if they were to buy your product or use your service.
Another part of your strategy should include using hashtags on every post. Hashtags are how other people find your posts. In order to find the right hashtags for your brand, you should research to see which ones are popular. Find out what’s trending and use those hashtags to increase your discoverability.
The photo below is one from our blog post talking about the best business hashtags and describes how to effectively use a hashtag strategy for your Instagram business account. The photo is clickable and will direct you to our hashtag article!
The most important part of posting content on Instagram is to make sure you have high-quality photos and graphics that are branded. Use your logo and strong images to increase user engagement. Just do not overdo it on the logo being in every post, try to spread it out and make the post as natural as possible.
So Why Use Instagram?
After reading this article, I am sure you know why you should use Instagram for business. To go over briefly, these are the 3 main factors on why you should use IG;
You can engage with your customers
Advertise your products
Build awareness for your brand
Instagram is a social platform that you should be utilizing no matter what your product or service. You need to be writing an engaging copy, using Instagram stories, effectively utilizing Instagram advertising strategies, and highlights as well as keeping up with new features and trends in relation to your business.
Having a hard time getting started on your social media campaign? Let our social media specialists help you! They are equipped to build a tailored content strategy for your business that is professional, successful and everlasting. Contact us today to get started building your Instagram profile and start seeing sales come in!